Are we really available to our children? Do we make time for them and their passions in our busy schedules? Are we really present when we’re with them, or are we also elsewhere?
A few months back I sat in a coffee shop with my family and glanced over at four teenage boys sat together enjoying a coffee. Four friends enjoying time together, or so you’d have thought. Actually three of them sat on their phones engrossed with what they were reading and one sat there watching the others and looking around. This went on the whole 20 minutes I sat in the coffee shop.
I’ve often heard mums talk about feeling a lack of purpose. I think nowadays there’s such focus on career and the status that comes from this, that it can be a hard adjustment going from employment to raising a child. I gave up work when I had Jonas. I remember a conversation I had shortly afterwards with a mum I met in the park who had recently returned to work. When I told her I was a stay at home mum she asked how I coped, making me feel like I was doing something wrong, like it was crazy that I would even consider leaving my career, like the mundane tasks of being a mummy were so dull, how could I possibly not return to work.
Being a mummy, no one regularly tells you you’re doing a great job, we don’t have end of year reviews stating our performance, we don’t have pay rises, or any pay, to boost our confidence, so how do we stay motivated and passionate about our role? How do we feel encouraged when we’ve had a tough day?
I decided to call my blog ‘Making Space’. Why, because in my opinion since becoming a mummy I find every day’s challenge is about making space! Making space to do all those necessary baby chores: washing bottles, changing nappies, making meals, feeding meals, cleaning copious amounts of food thrown on the floor after said meals, all those things that have to happen each day. Then there’s making space for the household essentials, clearing up after breakfast, lunch, dinner, washing, hanging washing, putting away the washing, cleaning… you all know the ones! Then there’s making space for the essentials with my boy: playtime, cuddle time, story time, time to teach him, sing to him, take him out. Time to be loud, to be quiet, to laugh, time to have fun, time to discipline. Before you even realise it the day can be full of things, and you haven’t even had time for you. Now some mums may say “what’s that?” but in my opinion this is essential. I spend my day giving my all to my son, rushing around to try and squeeze in all those necessary things, none of which can budge, and I need time out too.